The new work commissioned for this concert will bring together all the performing groups: the three choirs and the instrumental forces of Britten Sinfonia. With a libretto by acclaimed writer Nick Warburton and music by composer and conductor Janet Wheeler, the piece will explore many different aspects of mazes.
The words 'maze' and 'labyrinth' are often taken to mean pretty much the same thing, but technically a maze or puzzle maze has choices in the route whereas a labyrinth has a single path from beginning to end without any junctions. By this description Saffron Walden has an example of both a maze (the hedge maze in Bridge End Gardens) and a labyrinth (the turf maze on the Common). One can get lost in a puzzle maze and perhaps lose oneself in a journey symbolising the path of life in a labyrinth. The cantata will use a variety of verbal and musical ways to illustrate the winding paths, convoluted twists and turns, false starts and choices to be found in mazes. Along the way it will refer to the myth of the Minotaur's maze on Crete and a misadventure in the maze at Hampton Court from 'Three Men in a Boat'. The ending of the music's journey is of course Saffron Walden - where else?!
A group of young dancers from the Kate Plummer School of Dance will provide modern dance moves to interpret sections of the piece.